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Excerpts from recent Minnesota editorials - Nov. 7

Duluth News Tribune, Nov. 7

Our view: A big day for Democrats

In northern Minnesota, Tuesday's election could go down as a DFL drubbing. In D.C., the White House was retained. And in Minnesota, the Legislature and the 8th Congressional District both were reclaimed.

And so swung the political pendulum one more time: two years ago to the right and on Tuesday back to the left. Checks and balances. Our representative democracy at work.

Those whose bids for public office fell short on Tuesday can be enthusiastically thanked for their participation in the elective process. By courageously putting themselves out there they brought attention to important issues and engaged voters, prospective voters and their communities in the sorts of conversations and considerations that can lead to the best ideas and to real solutions. May they continue to stay involved — and for all the right reasons.

Congratulations to the winners, all of whom can be reminded that with great victory comes great responsibility, that with the granting of leadership comes the expectation of stepping up, truly leading and advocating, always, for constituents and community first and for party and politics later (much later).

Voters have every reason to expect to be proud of their representatives, both new and re-elected, and whether at the local, state or national level. They can ask the people they've picked to always search for, find and build on common ground; to reject what divides; to embrace what works, regardless of who gets the credit; and to work across the aisle, with dignity and character, and in whatever other way is necessary to achieve great results.

May our new batch of leaders — led by President Obama, U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others — find the support, respect and cooperation they deserve.

And may they lead effectively, remembering that the political pendulum keeps on swinging.


St. Cloud Times, Nov. 7

Voters offer answers, raise new questions

Election results serve both as the last answer to one test and the first question on the next test. Election Day 2012 is no different.

On the federal level, America's cumulative answer to the past four years equates to support for divided government.

Yes, Democratic President Obama won re-election despite a weak economy, huge debt issues and partisan gridlock. Similarly, though, Republicans are on track to retain control of the House, and Democrats held the Senate — despite a weak economy, huge debt issues and partisan gridlock.

This divided government already knows the first test: Deciding how (or even if) they should work together to navigate the looming federal "fiscal cliff," a budgetary combination of $400 billion in higher taxes and $100 billion in automatic cuts in military and domestic spending set to hit in January.

It must be noted that this same divided government created this cliff because of its partisan politics and budgetary ineptitude. Cliff or not, the questions and challenges only get more difficult for all of them heading toward 2014.

Minnesota voters provided several answers Tuesday that speak loudly about impatience and distaste for legislators and legislation driven largely by partisan politics.

Just look at the Legislature. Voters tossed Republican majorities in the House and Senate after two years of GOP leadership hallmarked by shuttering government and pushing constitutional amendments with no bipartisan support.

But before DFL leaders get too excited about running the legislative spending table, they must remember they lost legislative control in 2010 in large part because of that mentality.


Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Nov. 7

Time to turn the page and work together

Where do we begin? The events of Tuesday — and indeed, early today — provide almost too many compelling storylines.

For starters, we tip our hats to Minnesota voters. You sent a clear message to our legislators, saying, "Do your jobs — and if you don't, we'll elect people who will."

Republicans in the Legislature gambled and lost with their preemptive strike against same-sex marriage and their attempt to impose a new set of restrictions on voting rights. These are historic decisions with national implications, especially regarding same-sex marriage, as Minnesota ended a 30-state winning streak for those who seek to use state constitutions as a firewall against same-sex marriage.

We suspect that the anti-amendment push helped the DFL, which achieved stunning gains in both the Minnesota House and Senate. The shift in power in the Minnesota Legislature can be seen — and we hope will be seen — as a repudiation of the GOP's decision to invest so much time and energy trying to do end-runs around Gov. Mark Dayton, who now will get to work with a DFL majority in both the House and Senate.

We'll take this opportunity to offer a cautionary note to the DFL. Tax increases on the wealthy might sound like a good idea right now, but let's try to keep in mind that good government can be both efficient and effective. If ever there was a time for a "balanced approach" in the effort to improve the state's bottom line, it's when one party appears to be holding all of the cards. ...

President Obama's victory leaves him with many unenviable tasks, the most difficult of which might be to heal a nation that not only is suffering from massive debt and a struggling economy but also bears the gaping wounds from an ideological battle that won't end just because Nov. 6 has come and gone.

Obama's victory means we'll have a chance to find out if the Affordable Care Act will truly help cover more Americans while reining in health care costs. We're going to find out whether, when faced with a "fiscal cliff," Republicans and Democrats can step away from disaster and achieve meaningful spending reforms. And yes, we're going to find out if the Tea Party Republicans in Congress are ready to actually step up and work with the Obama administration, now that they'll never have a chance to campaign against him again.

Our national healing process will take time, and much of it will be out of the average voter's hands, but there is something we can do right now to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

Take down the political yard signs — they serve no purpose now. Be gracious in victory, and don't be bitter in defeat. Remember that those who take oaths of office are vowing to represent all of us, even those who voted for someone else.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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